A FOUNDER of a trade association set up to maintain standards in the heir hunting industry has been warned he faces jail after admitting possessing indecent images of children.

David Gaertner, of Castle Wynd, Richmond, continued his sex crimes despite being subject to a suspended prison sentence, probation supervision and a court order aimed at curbing his behaviour, York Crown Court heard.

The 64-year-old admitted possessing indecent pictures and videos of children between March, 2014, and March this year.

He also pleaded guilty to possessing extreme pornography between October 2013 and March this year.

The court heard he had two videos and one picture showing sexual abuse of children of the most serious category and one picture of the least serious kind showing a child being sexually abused.

He also had two identical images of extreme pornography.

In April 2014, he received a suspended prison sentence including supervision by the probation service and rehabilitative activities, was made subject to a sexual offences prevention order and was put on the sex offenders’ register, after admitting earlier offences involving indecent images of children.

All the orders were designed to stop Gaertner, formerly of Hirst Courtney, near Selby, from continuing his criminal activities.

Judge Paul Batty QC told Gaertner: “I am sure you understand with your record, particularly with a suspended sentence for similar offending, a custodial sentence is highly likely.”

He adjourned sentence until January 5 so probation officers could prepare a report on how Gaertner had responded to their work with him since his first sentence, and released him on bail.

The Federation of Probate And Asset Researchers Limited website says Gaertner has been a director of the body which maintains professional standards in the industry and that he began researching family histories part-time after enjoying finding out about his own ancestors.

It added: “In 2010, he decided to go it alone with his wife, Lesley, setting up Wishbone Family Research, and has, since that date has brought a large number of cases to a conclusion, including two of the cases that baffled Heir Hunters for years in the BBC TV programme.”